Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Even Public Schools Can Go Bad

We all know that hagwons in Korea are corrupt. While there are a few good ones out there, the majority rip of the foreigners in some way. Money, vacation, taxes, health care, housing, bonus pay, flight money. Something. And there is almost no recourse except the toothless labor board which seems able to be bought off by the employers. Due to this, I would generally recommend people stick with public schools or unis.

However, there are more and more cases of people getting screwed over by the public schools as well. There is the latest scandal, this time with SMOE (Seoul Public Schools) about them canceling 100/600 teachers the night before they were due to come to Korea. And getting renewed at the public schools seems to be at the whim of your potentially quite good or potentially pure evil co-teachers. Certainly not a comforting thought at times. And I also hear increasing stories of public schools pulling the same crap that hagwons are notorious for with money and housing and stuff. They get paid a certain amount/foreign teacher at their school and so many of them look to make a buck off of it and don't actually spend that full amount on the teacher.

So, if you are a newbie, looking to work in Korea, I would sincerely recommend that you look elsewhere. Somewhere where you can own your own visa and aren't indebted to your employer like an indentured servant. Somewhere where you have freedom to change jobs, with minor paperwork if your employer starts to screw you over. Somewhere where there are government regulations that actually protect and look out for foreign employees. Sadly, it is not Korea.

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